TRAGEDY has struck again at the zoo's orang utan enclosure.
Atina, a 21/2-year-old orang utan died in a mishap after its neck got caught in a hanging noose. It was part of a large nylon rope hammock built to simulate the animals' natural habitat, and for them to climb.
Atina's mother, Anita, and other orang utans rushed to free it, but "in their haste to help Atina, they tugged at her and dislocated her neck, instantaneously killing her", said Mr Biswajit Guha, the zoo's associate director of zoology. Zookeepers had been unable to reach Atina in time - Anita pushed away the fire-safety ladders and extensible poles that they tried to use. A cherry-picker was brought in, but it was too late.
Mr Guha said: "This is a freak accident, and very unexpected. The staff members are devastated."